Monday, February 7, 2011

Stowe Mountain Resort

I have just got back from a brilliant skiing weekend at Stowe Mountain Resort in Vermont.  We decided to drive up, which took 6 hours from Manhattan, but it was well worth it as there are some amazing views on the way.  The drive is really simple too, especially if you have a Sat Nav! 

Stowe Mountain accommodates all levels of skier, the majority of runs are blue (in the US they don't have red runs, so the blues are slightly steeper and more tricky than in Europe) but there are plenty of green runs for beginners, and black runs for those who want more of a challenge.  As with all ski resorts the lifts get busier on weekends, but if you get out there early you can get a good few runs in without having to queue for lifts. 

The resort has a real village feel, they gave out free hot chocolate and smores (melted marshmallows and chocolate in biscuits-a must try!) around the fireplace in the afternoon.  The staff are extremely helpful throughout the resort and will go out of there way to accommodate requests.

We stayed at the Stowe Mountain Lodge which was absolutely lovely and right by the chair lifts, making it easy to ski in and out.  I got a great deal on Expedia (http://www.expedia.com/) for a Timberline Studio room which was gorgeous.  The room was a really good size, with lots of space to relax and even had a working fireplace! 

The hotel offers a great ski valet service so you don't have to worry about lugging your ski gear from and to the rental shop.  Hotel guests can use the outdoor pool, hot tubs and gym.  However, if you want a more relaxed (and warmer!) experience, I would recommend using the 'Healing Lounge' at the spa.  It is $25 a visit or free if you are having a spa treatment, I thought it was well worth it though!

The restaurants on the mountains are of really good quality, as is the food.  I would recommend booking restaurants for the evening though, especially at the weekend, as there aren't many places to eat.  The 'Solstice' restaurant in the hotel is lovely, and you can eat at the bar or order room service.  You can also go across to Spruce Base Camp for meals until 9pm.  There is another good restaurant 5 minutes walk off site called 'The Cottage' and we had a delicious meal in there.

The apres ski is pretty calm and quiet there, with people just chilling out in the bars and restaurants, which is great for families and couples, but this might not be the place for you if you want the night life usually available at bigger European resorts.

We had a great time at Stowe Mountain and are hoping to get back there before the end of the season. 

Visit these websites http://www.stowe.com/ and http://www.stowemountainlodge.com/ for more information.

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